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'Erratic' driver shot, killed after crashing through gate and fleeing onto Florida high school campus

Angie DiMichele, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A man driving a van erratically crashed through the gates onto the campus of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts about noon in downtown West Palm Beach, where he was shot and killed by police.

The suspect fled after the crash and ran into Building 7, where a confrontation occurred between West Palm Beach Police and the driver.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene after he was shot by an officer. No students or faculty were injured, police said.

The man was driving east in the westbound lanes of Banyan Boulevard before he crashed in the school’s locked gates on Tamarind Avenue, police said. The driver hit a palm tree and just missed a maintenance worker in a golf cart.

The suspect acted violently toward the school staff and West Palm Beach Police, who were on scene within a minute, spokesman Mike Jachles said. No information about the suspect or the officer who shot him was released Friday afternoon. The officer was put on administrative duty, as is standard procedure.

“An intruder on a school campus crashing through gates, running around an active school campus and acting erratically, will be dealt with appropriately,” Jachles said.

 

Building 7 includes an auditorium in the front and classrooms in the back. No students were in the auditorium, but they were in other parts of the building, Jachles said.

“What I know is the suspect was inside the auditorium … students who were in the building did not witness this,” Jachles said. “It was stopped in the auditorium.”

Audrey Dzwill, 15, and Evin Molina, 16, said shortly before noon they were leaving lunch in Building 7 when students suddenly started sprinting into the building. People were yelling out “code red,” which means there’s an intruder, the students said.

Molina and Dzwill, along with other students, fled the building and waited at the nearby Tri-Rail station for about 15 minutes, unsure of what was happening on campus. A teacher came over and moved them to a nearby business building where they waited for about an hour.

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